UPDATE4: Watchdog suspends dairy imports from Belarus from Feb 26
(Provides comments in paragraphs 4Ц5, new details in paragraph 8)
MOSCOW/MINSK, Feb 22 (PRIME) -- RussiaТs Federal Service for Veterinary and Phytosanitary Oversight has suspended milk and some dairy product imports from Belarus from February 26, the service said on Thursday.
Besides milk, the ban affects pasteurized, sterilized, concentrated, canned and condensed cream, buttermilk, and whey protein and milk protein concentrate.
The watchdog said that Belarus continues to supply unsafe dairy products to Russia. The ban was introduced until relevant talks with BelarusТ veterinary service are held and the situation with ensuring safety of Belarusian products is settled.
Agriculture Minister Alexander Tkachyov said he supports tightening control over imports of dairy products from Belarus.
УI support tightening control over imports of dry milk and dairy products from Belarus, because unfortunately facts of falsification and re-exports of poor-quality products through Belarus are evident,Ф Tkachyov told Rossiya 1 television channel.
Belarusian First Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Food Leonid Marinich said that Belarus is surprised by the Russian watchdogТs decision to suspend the imports and is trying to find out the reasons.
УWeТve just readЕ We are currently finding out what pushed (the Russian side) to such decision,Ф Marinich told PRIME.
Belarusian specialists plan to visit Moscow for consultations with the Russian watchdog on February 26, he said.
A spokesperson for the National Dairy Producers Union, or Soyuzmoloko, said that Russia will not face a problem with production and sales of milk after the ban on Belarusian products, as currently has record reserves.
УAt present, amid reducing demand caused by lower purchasing power of the population a surplus of products and record stocks in warehouses have occurred, in this connection we should not speak about a possible deficit,Ф he said.
Belarus is the main supplier of dairy products to Russia with a share of around 79% of the total volume of supplies.